Week 2 readings

‘Slogans for the Screenwriter’s Wall’

I thought I would highlight 3 or 4 slogans that I thought were significant or important or just more interesting than the others!!

  1. “BEWARE OF SYMPATHY between characters. That is the END of drama.” – I don’t think I have ever thought of drama like that before. I think its a great way to look at it! Audiences don’t want to see characters feel for each other! Its not so interesting, its almost boring! people want to see characters argue, fight, laugh at, torture etc.
  2. “Screenplays are not written, they are REWRITTEN and REWRITTEN and REWRITTEN.” – This is really important for me. I seriously struggle at second, third fourth drafts. Once i do my first copy I tend to get lazy and think to myself that i have done enough when really there is still so much improvement to be had. Its so hard to go at it again and again and again. This is something I really need to focus on.
  3. “If you’ve got a Beginning, but you don’t yet have an end, then you’re mistaken. You don’t have the right Beginning.” – I was just intrigued by that. Thats all.
  4. “DRAMA IS ANTICIPATION MINGLED WITH UNCERTAINTY.” – Beautiful!!!

The reading is titled ‘Slogans for the Screenwriter’s Wall’…So thats what I did!

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The next reading was ‘The Director and the Actor’…

The article highlighted the differences between the director and the actor and ultimately how they work together. As a general rule, the director is an interpretive artist and is often called upon(by the actor) to be critical and self-consciously analytical in his approach, full of verbal explanations rooted in deep thought. The actor craves direction from the director. The actor, however, works from intuition, instinct and impulse rather than critical and intellectual comprehension. Imagination is a huge factor in the way that actor learns about his character.

It is almost better for an actor to not understand the directors techniques and ideas. Thinking too much may inhibit the this magical process. It may cause the acting to not be spontaneous enough.

Directors come up with many problems. Perhaps the most important step for a director is to appreciate that the actor is the director’s most valuable collaborator, to the point the director should go out of his way to ensure he has a rudimentary understanding of the craft of acting. It is important that the director has some sort of comprehension of what the actor is feeling on the other side of the camera. The director should never appear to be overly distant from the actors, the should never be afraid to do anything it takes to protect the actor.

I’ll end this summary of the reading by bringing up this point, one which stood out for me. A director contributes not by instructing the actor but by inspiring him.

Another reading that was included for this week was “script formatting and layout”. I am lucky enough to have a general understanding of how to create a script. I wrote a script in year 11 for year 12 media. I used a program called ‘Final Draft’ which taught me how to make a script. One thing i didn’t know about scripts was how to write out ‘Montages and Series of Shots’. This is something I learnt from the reading. I learnt that you write only one scene heading, indicating that you’re using a montage/series and then describe each part below it using either numerals or letters, and begin a new scene when you’re through.